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We have aimed to provide our members consulting projects and challenges that will equip them to tackle future assignments confidently and competitively. We also aim for facilitating in growth of collective knowledge of the entire student community interested in the Consulting and Strategy domain. This magazine says it all. In this issue of Strategist we have emphasized on Automation, which is undergoing major changes and is one of the important sectors to prop up our nation’s economy in coming years. We hope you enjoy this issue of Strategist as much as we enjoy creating it. -Team ConQuest


C O N T E N TS MAGAZINE

. 1.

DISRUPTIVE AUTOMATION IN INSURANCE -

2.

6

DISRUPTIVE AUTOMATION IN MANUFACTURING -

3.

DISRUPTIVE AUTOMATION IN IT/ITES -

4.

11

Rishika Sarin, IMI New Delhi

DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION IN BFSI SECTOR -

5.

17

DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION IN FOOD TECH -

6.

15

19

INTERVIEW: MR. NARAYANA BHATTA -

22


From the Editor’s Desk ConQuest (The Consulting Club), IIM Shillong In this edition of Strategist, we aim to expose the enthralling, electrifying and creepy world of automation that is being created by, yet awaits the human species. Automation has been in the picture for a long while, but it is only in the recent years that the progress has expedited and scope widened. The process of making human assistance obsolete has spread its roots into almost all domains of life and business functions. Technology is advancing at an unbelievable rate. It has reached such a level that tasks which were believed to be too complicated to be automated are now getting automated successfully. This rise is making a substantial population across the world engulf into fear, primarily because they think that their jobs would be taken away by the machines. However,

there are two sides to this argument, the optimistic and pessimistic. The optimists argue that the machines and automation have existed for a long time now and widespread unemployment due to automation has never materialized before, why, should this time be any different? Whereas, their counterparts argue that this time we are living in a new automation age and the game is on. The change will not happen overnight. Various vital factors will impact the pace and extent of automation adoption. These include; technical feasibility, cost of developing and deploying solutions, labor market dynamics, economic benefits, etc. The technical and cost factors are crucial because we need to invent and integrate the technology required to automate certain activities, for

which, we need to invest capital. Apart from these, the most critical factor that will impact the rate of adoption is the social and regulatory acceptance of automation. Even if all this makes business sense, humans might not be willing to accept this change which can hinder the prospects of development in this field. Taking all the factors into consideration, the general belief is that it might take decades for automation to make an impact at the macro level but, could be quite fast at the micro level.

Most of the debate about automation has been around the potential for mass unemployment. This is based on the premise that there would most certainly be a surplus of human labor. But with the overall ageing population, this may not be the case.


What is speculated is that the coming age will be the age of transformation. People will upgrade their skillsets to compliment the work that machines do hence, bringing transformation to the structure of organizations and invention of new business models incorporating these changes. For businesses, automation will bring benefits by increasing the productivity and decreasing the error, but for policymakers, this is creating a dilemma. They have to find the right balance between benefiting their economies from increased productivity (by investing and giving incentives to encourage continued innovation) and, reforming policies that will help the workforce and institutions adapt to the bearing on employment. Our take is that automation will lead to a transition in the kind of work that humans do and the business models of organizations. Mass unemployment is unlikely to happen as the output gener-

ated by machines has to be used by humans. But would we be able to consume that output if there is no income to invest?


D i s ru p t i v e Au t o m at i o n i n I n s u r a n c e Aankush Tyagi , Rachel Mathew, GIM Introduction New disruptive technologies continue to emerge, causing the insurance industry, which is known for being cautious and highly regulated, to rethink their business model. Calling an insurance company isn’t one of the favourite activities of the consumer, for a simple reason, insurance industry is one of the least innovative areas for customer experience and it is traditionally a selling process and not a shopping experience. But, things are changing and automation is playing a large role. Also, automation is one of the technologies

that would have a biggest impact on the insurers in the next three years. In this article, we take a look at Robotic Process Automation and we strongly believe that this disruptive technology is the wave of the future for the global insurance industry. What is changing the landscape of insurance industry? • Pressure from millennials Millennials have always had technology such as smart devices, internet and understanding of the technological know-how. They are put-

ting an increasing pressure to provide high speed, web and mobile based insurance service • Change in consumer behaviour There is a change in way consumers research and interact with the insurance company and buy insurance policy. Due to internet, the interactions with consumers is on a decline and they typically come away from their interactions, disappointed and dissatisfied. Customer experience has taken the centre stage and insurance companies are striving hard to improve it by adopting disruptive technology • New market entrants The new digital insurance companies have come up with innovative product offerings with strategic use of technology leading to better customer service and experience. Digital insurer Lemonade and their Chatbot, Maya, sells inexpensive homeowners’ and renters’ insurance, and their claims bot, AI Jim recently settled a simple


tomer lifecycle that allows the delivery of the product promise as intended. Hence, it becomes important to reduce the turnaround time and drive cost efficiencies and ultimately affects the loyalty of the customer in a positive manner.

cesses, linking it to existing applications, and then scheduling them to run on one or more robots whenever required. The best way to view RPA initially is as the ultimate “helper”, carrying out the basic work in a process and enabling humans to do more.

Robotic process automation (RPA)

Benefits With RPA, the organization is not required to make any system changes at all, thus it can integrate with the existing legacy systems

The figure displayed on the next page, provides information about the insurance value chain and the customer journey.

RPA is the answer to the manpower intensive claims processing department. Insurance companies are highly dependent on the efficiency of their back office. Use of robotics would help in automating business processes and streamline their back-office operations.

Claims Management

How does it work?

Claims processing department tends to be manpower intensive which results in it being more of cost centre rather than a profit centre. The claims process is literally the single most important “moment of truth” for an insurance company or the one point within the cus-

RPA works by replicating the activities that people currently undertake, using existing core applications, accessing websites, and manipulating spreadsheets, documents and email to complete tasks. Using RPA software involves mapping out current or new pro-

claim in three seconds. If insurance companies maintain status quo, they will be taken over by new market entrants with superior technological know-how Ever changing technology •

Big data analytics, cyber security, cloud, digital currency, mobile, social media, artificial intelligence, internet of things and robotics are the technologies that would disrupt the insurance industry Insurance value chain & customer journey

Unified integration

Increased efficiency

Reduces manual operations costs by 25-50% or more, it does this while improving service and compliance •

Round the clock service

Robots are available 24/7*365 (robot as a technology or technologyenabled process that can perform functions previously only performed by humans) Improvement in straight through pro•


cessing rate High STP rate leads to lower error rate thereby reducing settlement risk Risks Targeting RPA at the wrong processes •

RPA will be most beneficial if it is used to automate simple and repetitive tasks. If RPA is targeted at complex tasks, it will lead to increased costs without the desired benefits Automating too much of a process •

Clear understanding of the process along with the extent to which the process should be automated •

Assuming RPA should

be IT controlled instead of business owned Each of the process (in claims processing) has a business importance and thus decision related to it should be owned by business and executed by IT team Restructure of organization with respect to FTEs •

Since, implementation of RPA will reduce human intervention, the manpower in the claims processing unit can be reduced and therefore, focus more on high value activities Mitigation Analyze, prioritize and select areas where RPA satisfies pre-requisites and de•

liver significant ROI Design program that helps align silos and crossfunctional areas •

•Is

it really worth it?

Robotic process automation seems to solve a lot of problems that the insurance industry is currently facing, but is it actually feasible? And if it is how does it affect the workforce? To understand the feasibility of RPA, we need to do a cost benefit analysis. Let us take the example of an organization with 750 employees in the claims processing department. On an average, the employees are paid $14.20 per hour, thus the annual salary expenditure to maintain this workforce is $ 31,470,300 If we use RPA licenses, then 32% of the workforce can be replaced i.e. 240 employees will be replaced. It is also known that one RPA can replace three employees, therefore to replace 240 employees we will need 80 RPA licenses. Incorporating the costs associated with deploying these licenses and the salaries of the remaining employees, the cost comes


Figure 1: Insurance value chain and customer journey

out to be $ 22,214,804. This results in a benefit of $9,255,496 with ROI of 42%. With such great financials, RPA is definitely going to be one of the most disruptive technologies in the Insurance industry. However, we also need to address the effect of this massive automation on the workforce.

& competencies while eliminating operational barriers

Expectation Clarity: The employees should be clear about the fact that their talents will be repurposed to higher value adding tasks. What lies ahead? We have seen the umpteen benefits of RPA in insurance and we also looked at

mitigating the risks associated with it. The truth of the matter is that RPA is the future of an industry like Insurance which needs speed, accuracy and the ability to analyze vast amounts of data. The question is how quickly can organizations jump onboard and make it an industry norm?

Change Management An effective change management strategy will be needed to motivate the employees. The Three-E change management framework can be usefulExplain: The employees need to be explained as to what is happening in terms of automation and their inputs should be used to create robotic operating model defining roles & responsibilities of the RPA. Engage: The employees should be engaged by helping them develop new skills

Fig ure2: Source - Infosys; case study on RPA simplifies insurance processes

for a leading developer of solutions and services in the insurance and financial services industry


Method 1: Cost with FTEs only Number of FTEs Hour per shift Salary per hour Number of days Total salary expense

750 8 $14.37 365 $31,470,300

Method 2: Cost with RPA and FTEs Number of FTE replacement per RPA % of FTE to be replaced by RPA Number of FTE to be replaced Number of RPA license required One time cost (consulting, implementation, training & configuring) Amortization period Expenditure Total Recurring cost for RPA per annum Number of FTEs not replaced FTEs Salary expense Total expense

$8,15,000 510 $21,399,804 $22,214,804

Benefit Total Cost without RPA Total cost with RPA Benefit ROI

$31,470,300 $22,214,804 $9,255,496 42%

Figure 3: Cost Benefit analysis of RPA implementation

3 32% 240 80 $45,000 3


Disruptive Automation in Manufacturing Sandeep, MDI Gurgaon What seemed like a scene from a science fiction movie a few years ago has now become reality. 3D printers over the years have gained mainstream attention for their capability and versatility. In this article we shall look at what the current trend is and how big a disruption will this technology cause. Introduction 3D printing ( also known as “additive manufacturing” ) is revolutionizing the way manufacturing industry has been functioning over the years. The supply chain model with a number of interdependent processes runs the risk of getting obsolete with the advent of this new technology. What is 3D printing? In a lay man’s term the idea is simple. Just like a conventional inkjet printer, 3D printer takes input in the form of information. While the inkjet printer will use that information to print on the paper by applying ink,

the 3D printer injects materials in successive patterns to build three dimensional objects. Innovations in 3D printing over the years has led to the development of many approaches and technologies that help us in converting our ideas into 3D models. Three of the most popularly used technologies for 3D printing are: Elective laser sintering (SLS): Feed material in the powdered form is melted using lasers to form the desired objects. Mostly used to print metal - based materials •

Fused deposition modeling (FDM): Hardened feed material (like plastic on a coil) is melted layer by layer to produce the desired object. This is the most widely used and the most widely know technology among consumers •

Stereolithography (SLA): A laser beam is used to build the object layer by •

layer. A liquid polymer that hardens on contact with the laser’s light is used as the feed. It is well established for rapid prototyping applications Economic Implications of 3D printing In the traditional manufacturing set up, the supply chain is such that, material and individual components are sourced and shipped from various locations to the factory where the actual product is manufactured and assembled. Once an order is placed, an elaborate distribution network is in place where the product from the factory is sometimes sent to the warehouse before it is delivered to the store or the end-customer.


3D printing greatly reduce the complexity of this system which has so many variables, most of which are beyond the manufacturer’s control. Each of these forward and backward parts of the supply chain are cost centers. With 3D printer’s versatile ability to print components on demand, the whole system can be reduced to a few components leading to substantial economic savings on logistics, procurement and production costs. Thus the key benefits from 3D printing can be summarized as follows: Reduction in the number of steps required to produce a customized product. This can greatly reduce the time to market ( TTM ) of a new design giving the innovators a first mover advantage over its rivals •

The distribution network can be shrunk and the production facility can be positioned close to the customer. This will help is catering to more customized demand from the customer •

This process can also lead to achieving more operational efficiency as compared to the existing production tech•

niques. The material wastage will be reduced and energy consumption required to produce per unit of the product will be significantly lesser as compared to the existing practices The Future Outlook

With the advantages listed above, 3D printing looks as a lucrative technology that will dominate the future technology landscape. Thus many top companies are betting heavily on 3D printing. As per Gartner, a leading information technology advisory company, over the past five years, 3D printing has moved from a new technology in its infancy towards accelerating maturity ( as shown in the figure 1). It is a signal that the technology is now being adapted rapidly. McKinsey, a well known consultancy firm, estimated that 3D printing market will grow between $180 billion to $490 billion by the year 2025. If 2016 can be any indicator for this trend, there were significant movements in this field. Mercedes-Benz Truck announced of its

first 3D-printed spare parts service. GE, BMW and Nikon have made a multimillion dollar investment in the 3D printing start-up Carbon.1 Will the 3D Printer Sound The Death Knell for the Supply Chain? The advantages stated above have made it ominous for people to predict that this disruptive technology will end up dismantling the supply chain model as a whole. Although this seems to be the case on the surface, when we dig deeper, we find that barring a few early industry adopters this technology has not seen a widespread integration into the core production technology of many industries. An industry where 3D printing has penetrated and set benchmarks is the medical and the healthcare industry. 3D printer is being successfully used to create prosthetics and implants ( such as


Figure 1: 3D printing in Gartner Hype Cycle Source: Gartner (2011, 2013, 2015)

hearing aids crowns )

and

dental

This limited adoption is surprising considering additive manufacturing has been around since the early 1980s. According to the EnY Global 3D Printing Report 2016, 11 % of the companies in its survey are testing and experimenting with 3D printing, while just 3% claim significant experience of 3D printing and have a clear strategic plan at the highest management level for its future application. Some probable causes behind this slow adoption can be High costs of printers, scanners and the material •

Limited knowledge about 3D printing and aversion to using a new technology •

Lack of faith in the sustainability of the printer over a long term usage and industrial application •

Quality of the product: Will it be durable? •

Thus, to pose as a threat to the existing supply chain, there are certain challenges that 3D printing technology will have to overcome which we shall see in the next section. Challenges to the 3D Printing Technology Materials used in printing: As the input is a critical factor in determining the quality of the output, •

the material used in 3D printer is one of the most critical challenge that this technology faces. Although there are a number of materials available, the real challenge lies in creating a unique product from a number of materials. Today, the printers available in the market can handle at most three different materials. The costs, however, are very high and increase proportionately to the increase in the material. Another important factor is the quality of the product. With a limited number of material, the quality of the product that can be produced becomes severely constrained. Only when more number of materials are incorporated, we can assume that the spectrum of products printable will expand exponentially. The speed of printing (effective output): In order to be an effective alternative to the existing manufacturing methods, the 3D printing technology has to be faster and more accurate. For example, today a consumer grade FDM printer takes 4-5 hours to print a golf ball. The 3D alternative to it should not only be faster but •


it should also adhere to the strict quality standards ensuring aesthetics and proper structural integrity. Ownership and trust: Another key factor that would ensure the success of the 3D technology would be the trust in the minds of the customer. 3D printing is a new technology. What happens if the product printed breaks? Who would be liable for the damage to the customer? In what cases would the responsibility lie with the user? To what extent would the manufacturer be responsible for the breakdown. Thus, clear guidelines need to be formulated for all such issues that may clear any doubts that may arise in the minds of the consumer. A good regulatory framework can go a long way in improving the credibility of the new technology •

Intellectual Property challenges: Manufacturing industry’s competitive advantage has traditionally been its innovative production techniques. They have usually been protected by patents. With the advent of 3D printer, it would be interesting to see how the intel•

lectual property framework changes. The designs required to create the product would be in high demand and would be vulnerable to privacy and theft robbing the company of its competitive advantage instantly Conclusion From the factors we have analyzed above, its clear that 3D printing is going to be a disruptive technology. However, it is highly unlikely that the new technology will entirely substitute the existing supply chain systems. Instead, 3D printing will probably complement the existing system, making it more cost-effective and efficient. For example, an automotive major might use 3D printing to manufacture its spare parts and some of

its components in-house thereby reducing its dependency on the suppliers. 3D printing can mostly create a greater upheaval in customized products where standardized mass production is not required. In such industries, 3D printing can create a competitive advantage which would be difficult to ignore. This can be observed in the healthcare and the medical industry where 3D printing is being successfully used to create and design implants and prosthetics as per the individual customer requirements. In the end, 3D printing will surely turn out to be the next big thing in the field of manufacturing, adding value and improving the quality of products in the coming future.

Figure 3: 6 year old boy gets a 3D printed bionic arm


D i s ru p t i v e Au t o m at i o n i n I T / I T E S Rishika Sarin, IMI New Delhi


D i s ru p t i v e I n n o vat i o n i n B F S I S e c t o r ConQuest (The Consulting Club), IIM Shillong A disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network, which eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market leaders.” The disruption in BFSI sector has been around the corner for long now. Traditionally, banks have enjoyed a monopoly in banking and financial services. They are licensed highly regulated and compliant bodies. The sheer size of systems, which served us well in the past, has created a barrier to implement new technologies and automation in services. But in recent past, traditional banks have faced a lot of challenges such as the growth of financial technologies, the increased popularity of NBFCs, and greater expectation of customers from the conventional sources. Recently, there are many technologies such as Blockchain, Alternative lending, Artificial Intelligence and Omnichannel services that have created a stir in the

BFSI sector by automating and streamlining various financial processes. These are bound to have a long-term impact. A Blockchain or ‘Internet of value’ is a digital, immutable, irreversible distributed ledger that chronologically records transactions in near real-time. The applications of blockchain are immense and will automate many redundant processes. Some of the use cases are such as lending money to anyone legally without an intermediary, smart contracts to register

lands, reduced time in crossborder remittances, etc. Alternative lending has created pressure on traditional lending channels. The alternative lending system relies on digital history and past financial behavior of potential consumers. When integrated with bank’s core banking system, it would automate the process of lending significantly. Artificial Intelligence will be pivotal in amplifying customer services. It would reduce the reliance on detecting frauds from physical methods. Moreover, there are few innovations


The discussed technologies look to shift BFSI paradigm in future. Currently, steps should be taken to integrate these technologies with existing systems without creating much noise. such as Robotic Process (RPA) that has improved inhouse operations of banks by reducing redundant operations. RPA is a technology that automates standard and redundant processes performed by the employees. Currently, the tasks such as batch processing of payments and reconciliation are verified by manual intervention. With

the advent of RPA, it can be done automatically without any security concern. For example, a teller must go to multiple applications (saving accounts screen, credit card, loan account, etc., depending on the number of products mapped to a customer) to update the address of a customer and devote three times the required time for a repetitive task.

Additionally, reskilling of current workforce would be required as conventional roles within the industry may vanish or evolve. At the same time, there would be new opportunities for everyone, both consumers and service providers, to cherish.


D i s ru p t i v e I n n o vat i o n i n F o o d T e c h Indrasis Roy, IIM Shillong Almost all of us loves to eat. From the spicy Chinese platters to the authentic Indian dishes, all of us love to gulp down the mixture of herbs and spices coupled with the chemistry of flavours. But among all others, we have our own desires of comfort and living. There is very little doubt that we live in a generation that values time with an on-demand comfort solution for every need. While the craving for ultimate experience isn’t new altogether, yet this has gained significant importance with the emergence of Digital Consumer Technology. The perfect blend of food and technology has brought to us the satisfaction of our taste buds with the comfort of our own home. This throws limelight on majorly three different sectors of food technology in India. We shall see the different innovative disruptions that have emerged, the effects and the future prospects of

the same. Pertaining to the factor of innovations, several recent developments have shaped the industry. To incorporate comfort living and easy food access, the emergence of several food aggregators has taken up a seamless growth in the recent past. From companies like “Swiggy” to “Zomato”, the delivery food aggregator business is on the booming upfront rise. If we consider the specific chains that offer delivery services, easy availability of food has been a prime concern to the customer of such restaurants. Preferentially, a restaurant not offering home delivery services,

is likely to earn less than its rising counterparts. Technological advances in the food technology industry like man less pizza trucks are being developed to gain more access to the consumer. The market size of online delivery system has seen an exponential to 750 million USD over the past years. If we consider the effects of such innovations and disruptions in the domain, the daily order limit has increased by approximately 100000 over a single year. The usual customer visiting the store has also started ordering food to enjoy at the comfort of his home, in turn increasing the


daily order average order value to 358 INR. Such frugal investments to capture the delivery market has had significant effects on both the customer and the producer or aggregator themselves. The average cost per delivery has reduced by 1 percent over two quarters in a single year, hence providing more lucrative options for new entrants in the market scenario. The delivery time has also reduced giving more expectations and satisfaction levels to the customer, hence taking the whole game to the augmented level of need realization. Going into depth of the scenario facts and figures, the whole system could be divided into a partner fleet and a self-fleet system. Preference of the self-fleet system has always been high due to the quality of service. The partner fleets have been primarily concerned with the delivery and timing, which in-

cludes the aggregator business. Self-fleets have been more concerned with the restaurant reputation, hence maintaining the premiumness of their own brands. In this case, customers too have been more inclined to the self-fleet system than the partner fleets as is evident from the relative facts that shows the decrease in satisfaction levels of partner fleets by 6% as compared to the self-fleet system in a single quarter base of analysis. If we take into account the compliance to promises and the updation and upgrada-

tion of such rising technology, we see a major disappointment. Compliance to online delivery and other promises of quality has not been performing up to the mark. The updation system of menu by the aggregator and even by the selfrestaurant business on their online platforms has been on the decline. Satisfaction with complaint resolution has gone down by 28 percent in a single year (2017 as NPS). Overall, even though an excellent prospective is seen in the market, a significant threat arises from the decline of service levels and quality conformance in the future trends. With the ongoing revolution in the food industry, future prospects seem bright for a new entrant as well as for the existing players who


seem to capitalize on the downfalls of the system. With the growing trend of AI and machine learning, technological advances seem to be cropping up in every corner of the industry. Measuring the customers perception through AI and moving to assessing and analyzing the customer preferences, hence providing a personalized experience, is projected to happen in the next years. Food technology is a service that is in compliance with time, comfort and ease of doing business. This has shown the rise of the system and its popularity among us-

ers in the quarters of growth where the delivery experiences have been given as per the satisfaction levels of the customer. With the growth in demand statistics, quality conformance has been low and operations of such food technology initiatives has seen a declining trend. In the coming future, this can be seen as a significant opportunity to gain on the faults and hence grow in the market. According to the Porter’s Sandwich analysis, any player in the domain that capitalizes on the factors, shall be sandwiched among cus-

tomer demands and rising competition, hence moving to a deadlock scenario. A scheduled solution for any company, to serve the customers with proper desirable satisfaction and growing technological acceptance, can lead to the make or break scenario for this lucrative, yet risky customer service industry.


Interview: Mr. Narayana Bhatta ConQuest (The Consulting Club), IIM Shillong him for a discussion on disruptive technologies, management studies, and much more‌

Conquest : How was your trip to IIM Shillong?

IIM Shillong concluded its business and management fest Khlurthma on the 11th of November, 2017. As a part of Khlurthma, Conquest had hosted Mr. Narayana Bhatta of Puranika & Company for a discussion on inclusive growth and profitability. Mr. Bhatta, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta has had a diverse corporate career dabbling in sales, systems, finance, marketing and consulting. He is currently working with Puranika & Company as a consultant. Post the session, the Conquest team sat down with

Mr. Bhatta: Great. I am travelling to the east for the first time.

Conquest : The trend that we see in our country is that a majority of engineers go on to do an MBA. Being an engineering graduate yourself, how do you see this trend? Do you believe that engineers have an advantage when it comes to MBA? Mr. Bhatta: I don’t know what the future holds. But I can tell you from what I saw in my alma mater, IIM Calcutta. IIM Calcutta was typically known to attract engineers and even the courses and prospects were

designed likewise. So, I saw a majority of engineers there. I believe that there is a possibility that engineers can find MBA more relatable, since most of the subjects are statistical and quant based. But I think, once you are into the corporate vein, your graduate discipline should not matter much, unless you are in a core technical field. Also, it is important to note that the perception of an engineering degree itself has changed a lot. Today, an engineering degree is a norm and not an achievement. So, I feel that the opulence of engineers that you see in a PG course is due to the changes that have happened to the graduate level education.

Conquest : In your career, you have been involved in both Systems domain and Finance? Which do you


like better and which do you feel is most important?

the demands of the new market. What are your thoughts on this?

itself, is not scaring people. AI is.

Mr. Bhatta: I have to say both are equally important. I used to work with clients who were in the Systems domain. For example, I have worked on implementing ERP solutions for various clients. Then I had to draw from my Systems background. But most of the solutions that we implemented required a strong understanding of finance concepts like book-keeping, statement preparation and so on. So, both the domains have helped me immensely in my career.

Mr. Bhatta: I believe it is a virtuous cycle. Something similar had happened in 1969 with the commercialization of banks. We saw a huge increase in enrolments in commerce and accounting streams.

you think that the current skillsets that are available in the market will go obsolete?

Conquest : In the early 2000s and the late 90s, India had experience an IT boom which led to so many people pursuing engineering in order to make up for the skill gap. Today, something similar is happening with automation and artificial intelligence. People are beginning to feel that they are not equipped enough to meet

Over the last 25-30 years, it has become very easy for private institutions to set up colleges in India. And they all opted for engineering colleges. So, it became relatively easy to obtain engineering degrees. And this coincided with the IT boom. So, these phenomena kind of helped each other. Coming to the second part of your question, automation is done so that repetitive tasks can be done faster and better. IT has increased in the IT industry due to an increasing availability of codes, library functions and open source platforms like GitHub. Automation, by

Conquest : But Sir, do

Mr. Bhatta: Most definitely, as is the case with any disruption.

Conquest : Coming to something more recent like bitcoin, what do you think will be the impact? Is it disruptive or will it expand gradually? Mr. Bhatta: That is too early to say. Bitcoin is a tool and not a business model. We will need to see the use cases of that tool in order to comment on the impact.

Conquest : Sir, you have worked with a lot of small companies. When you look at a start-up, what do you believe is the litmus test? What do you look for in them and what particular factor guarantees its success as far as you are concerned?


Mr. Bhatta: As a consultant, I guess it does not matter if the start-up that approaches me is going to be disruptive or not. What I look for is ‘what additional value will I be able to add’. If I find a satisfactory answer to that question, then I work with them. Having said that, I also sit in the board of some companies and I invest in some companies. The criteria will be different then.

Conquest : Sure. Now sir, as a note to the budding managers and leaders who are reading this, what quality do you think is a must have for a manager in the future? What quality would you look for in someone you would want to work with? Mr. Bhatta: I can tell you two things. The first thing is perseverance. I mean the will power to sit down and see something through. I have seen that it is a rare and often overlooked quality. The second quality is an inherent quality to question whatever information that is given to

you. In every business going forward, we will have a lot of numbers thrown around. Those numbers will tell a story in the periphery but might be hiding something far more substantial. It is essential to do your bit of due diligence before making a judgement call. It will lead you to stronger and more accurate insights. It will also make your entire decision making process easier. A friend of mine once told me that the Mittal Group essentially looks at five parameters before acquiring a business. Just five parameters for such a gi-

gantic business group. That is because they have done their research and they know what they want.

Conquest : Absolutely. Thank you so much sir for your time and insights. We wish you all the best and hope to see you again in IIM Shillong. Mr. Bhatta: Pleasure’s all mine. Good luck to you.


Bibliography •

http://fortune.com/2016/09/15/ge-bmw-nikon-carbon-3d-printing

https://gradschool.edu.au/blog/details/printing-in-3dimensions-relevance-forteaching-and-learning

Ernst & Young’s Global 3D Printing Report, 2016

Infosys; case study on RPA simplifies insurance processes for a leading developer of solutions and services in the insurance and financial services industry

https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/08/eat-commerce-how-technology-and-ecommerce-are-redefining-how-we-eat/

http://www.scmr.com/article/ food_beverage_ecommerce_how_online_shopping_impacts_the_supply_chain

https://foodtechconnect.com/tag/e-commerce/

https://www.journals.elsevier.com/trends-in-food-science-and-technology/recentarticles


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Strategist | Feb 18 | Automation  

In this edition of Strategist, we aim to expose the enthralling, electrifying and creepy world of automation that is being created by, yet a...

Strategist | Feb 18 | Automation  

In this edition of Strategist, we aim to expose the enthralling, electrifying and creepy world of automation that is being created by, yet a...

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